Another Christmas….

Another Christmas……some can’t wait until it comes

Some can’t wait until it’s over

But now it is here….. Christmas Day

What does it all mean and why such a Celebration?

For Christians it means something different in a more personal and meaningful way than those who just know it as another Holiday…..a day off of work or school, or a day to give and receive gifts.

For some it is a day of joy, and others a day of drama, still others a day of sadness.

For some it’s football.

Whatever this day means to you…..could you pause and read a small note, a personal message.

This personal message from a friend of mine of years past, Freedom Kongvold, might help some find a reason to consider why all the “fuss” over Christmas, a day everyone in the world knows of, and many acknowledge as one of the most important days of all mankind, could be one of the most important days of your life.

Take a read and give some thought.

http://www.freedomkongvold.com/blog/christmas-2016

Christmas Day – A Day To Change Your Life

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:16-20 NIV

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One birth changed the world, by bringing into this world a Savior who can save us from our sins and bring us eternal life.

This CHRISTmas don’t just celebrate the day but take the time to learn of this miraculous opportunity to change your life.

Christmas

Christmas is soon upon as it is Christmas Eve and many little children will be anxiously awaiting that special morning tomorrow when they wake up to find presents under the tree.

But what about the story behind Christmas?

nativity

I mean we all know the story of the birth of Jesus of the baby in the manger. The celebration of the birth of the Savior by gathering our families and singing carols of joy,  but there is a story we don’t think about or may not even know.

Let’s think of what happened that day from a different perspective. Imagine, when the Holy Spirit appeared to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus, Joseph’s world was turned upside down. He thought of leaving and could have, many men do when they found out their wife is expecting and they are not the father. And who could have anticipated all that of the horrible events that occurred as a result of his birth. When Jesus was born King Herod and the religious leaders of the day were troubled. They felt threatened. King Herod’s response was to have all the baby boys 2 yrs old and younger killed. He sent Roman soldiers to rip the young children from their mother’s arms and kill them.  How many innocent children were slaughtered as King Herod sought to kill baby Jesus? Mary in order to save her child had to flee to a foreign land and live there for years to protect her child. These were huge sacrifices made by Mary and others so we could be brought the Good News.  Jesus was the Light of the World, the Savior, but if you want to be the light for others you will have to reckon with the forces of evil.

The forces of Good and Evil will always be at battle.

Consider this that at the Birth – evil tried to destroy the child Jesus to prevent good from being done.

On the Cross – evil tried once again to end the hope.

Realize what it cost to save us.

What is the message of Christ that caused so much divisiveness?

LOVE – HOPE – PEACE

That message was met with anything but love, hope and peace.

Even today 2000 years later there is still doubt, disbelief, and divisiveness

In your life as you wake this Christmas Day what do you believe?

With whom do you trust your eternity?

One who brings a message of Love, Hope and Peace?

For those who believe – no explanation is necessary.

For those who don’t – no explanation is adequate

And as you face this New Year what do you want to do with the life you have left? What is your purpose? Do we aspire to do a great thing….perhaps impact the world for good, to be a service to others? Is it that we want to change the world without having our world turned upside down?

Joseph’s life in playing his role being the husband to Mary had his life turned upside down.

The Disciples’ that followed the Savior born on Christmas day had their lives turned upside down in order to change the world.

Don’t expect every day of your life to be like Christmas morning where you sip hot chocolate and open presents with everyone cheering, or enjoying seeing the children’s joy of opening presents. Recognize that for every prize there is a price. Are you willing to pay the price, not of death, but maybe of discomfort?  To turn others lives upside down you just might have to turn your upside down as well.

As you awaken tomorrow morning Christmas morning be thankful that comfort is yours because of His discomfort. And follow his example if you want to lead others to a better more comfortable life.

The Cure – Book Review

The Cure

I picked this book up at first because of the notation on the front cover;

“What if God isn’t who you think He is and neither are you”

Then I turned it over and read some of the recommendations;

“No other resource has had such a profound impact on my life other than the Bible”

“The most important expression of the Gospel I have ever read”

“These days I recommend The Cure more than any single book in my library”

“From a psychological and theological perspective, The Cure is the single most important book that I have read”

“Sometimes a book can change your life. This one changed mine, and I am still learning from it. This is the best and most practical book on living by grace that I have ever read”

These were some powerful recommendations…. So I bought the book.

As I started to read the first part of the book it was confusing.

In the middle of the book I got lost.

At the end of the book I was captivated.

But what made it all come together was reading the Notes they put at the end of the book. Those notes that follow those little annotations we tend to ignore when we read. As I started to read a couple of the notes it caused me to go back and read more of the first chapter to put the notes into context. Then I do what I only do on occasion, and that was to read the Bible verse referenced in the first chapter. As I searched for each notation I re-read more  and more of the first chapter and then started re-reading the book,  now taking each annotation and following it and then back to the book and before you knew it the book came to life.

If you want answers as to why you try to do the right thing and never can seem to do so consistently, or you  tend to do not what you know is right but what is wrong. If your relationships seem unsettled and you can’t seem to repair them, or if you wonder what your life’ purpose is, your destiny and your role in this crazy unsettled world then this book is for you.

We are a week out from Christmas which centers around the birth of Christ and you have may have questions.

Questions that keep causing you to search.

If you question who God really is and what place, if any he should have in your life?

If you question who God is and who you really are and what your relationship to him should look like?

Then this book is for you!

As the book challenges; “But God’s cures rarely come in the form we expect.”

“What if indeed, God is not who we think he is and neither are we”

Happy Birthday

We as people seem to love to celebrate. Growing up  my parents always had a party to celebrate each of our birthdays. Likewise as we had children we had a party each year to celebrate their birthdays. We have anniversary parties for friends and family members. We’ve had engagement parties and bachelor parties, baby showers, and house warming parties. In fact my wife and I once went to a wedding in Poland where the celebration lasted a week. Yes everyone in the world seems to love a party!

We seem to have a party for everything.

Here is a list of a few I found;

Christening Celebrations First Holy Communions
Bar/Bat Mitzvah’s Reunions
Birthday Parties Pool Parties
Sweet 16’s Beach Parties
New Born Celebrations Retirement Dinners
School Dances Holiday Parties
Proms EMT Annual Awards Dinners
Block Parties Wet downs
Wedding Receptions Boat Parties
Fundraising Events Night Clubs
Corporate Events Singles Dances
Karaoke Sing-a-long College Formals
Dance Parties Graduation Parties
Anniversaries And many more!!!

At Christmas, we commemorate one of the most significant events in history, a party if you will, the birth of Jesus Christ. Just about the whole world will celebrate (whether they believe in Jesus or not) the birth of Jesus. Not unusual to celebrate someone’s birthday. Every year millions of people celebrate birthdays by throwing a birthday party for a friend or family member. But Christmas is an unusual birthday. First it is the biggest birthday celebrated that I know. But it is unusual for another reason, as Pastor Stephen Davey says; “imagine celebrating a birthday and buying a gift for everyone but the one whose birthday it is. Take that one step further by saying that everyone will be invited but the birthday boy”

In your home this Christmas, will you invite Jesus to his own party, so he can celebrate with you? If you invite him not just into your home this Christmas, but into your heart, then he can celebrate for you not just his birthday but yours (John 3:16). You can then experience Christmas with a joy by knowing the true meaning of the celebration of Christmas, the birth of your Savior.